tv Tavis Smiley PBS January 11, 2012 12:00am-12:30am PST
[captioning made possible by kcet public television] tavis: good evening from los angeles hariri i am tavis smiley. first we will talk to carey mulligan. she has been dizzy in his acclaimed projects such as "drive" and "shame." i will also a visit with shelby lynne and. she has a personal project about her family past. i am glad she will join us. actress carey mulligan and musician shelby lynne coming up right now. >> every community has a martin luther king jr. boulevard. it is not just a street or boulevard but>> and by contribur
>> and you should come near me. >> i will. >> like last time? >> where did you get this anyway? >> vintage. >> i can see that. >> please come. >> ok, i will. >> yay. glad we found a clip that we could choke. this is your first and c-17 rating of your career. how you feel about that? >> is a little bit different for
me. it is different. in london, we have pg and 15. tavis: there is some graphic stuff in here, though. >> there is. there is nudity. my character has a sex addiction. tavis: kind of hard not to when you have a sex addiction. >> yes. tavis: i have traveled the world, maybe not as much as you, but even i know the difference between how sex is viewed entreated not just in entertainment but generally in europe, where you live, numbers is how we treated here. -- reverse is how we treat it here. >> in england, we do not like talking about it but we are not concerned about showing it.
it is different here. the attitude towards sex and violence in films is disproportionate. especially in europe, not in england, in parts of germany, it is not an issue. tavis: we cannot show a lot but we can tell a lot about your character. quacks i play a word -- >> i play a wayward mess. she comes to stay with her brother and she has a lot of problems. they both reacted to events that happened to them that what -- when there were children in different ways. she has become the expert and exhibitionist. she heard herself and is trying to hold things together. he has become introverted and has trouble with intimacy and
has a serious -- and she has a serious sex addiction. she is trying to reconnect with him. tavis: how do you go about choosing roles? where nudity is concerned, there are actresses in this town who take years to figure out whether or not want to do this or not. how do you go about choosing roles? obviously, you made a decision and stepped into it. >> i never wanted to do it before. i have not born a bikini on a beach since i was a teenager. i do not wear dresses above the knee. i am not a fan of showing my body. firstsaw steve mcqueen's film and the way he shot naked bodies in that film was so anatomical and it was not sexual. i read this part and the first
scene that she has in the film, she is completely naked. it felt completely appropriate. she wants to be seen. she wants closeness with her brother and wants to reconnect with him. and she likes to provoke him. i trusted steve it and knew that he was an artist, that i was not being used for any other purpose than to tell the story of the character as best as they could. tavis: put that picture back up of steve mcqueen. some people got lost when they said -- when she said steve mcqueen. unless you think that steve mcqueen has come from the dead, it is not that steve mcqueen. a different steve mcqueen. "drive" was out this year. you took a year off after "wall
street." you are making up for it now all of these projects. >> now i am doing "the great gatsby." the others were very short to make and supporting roles. but "the great gatsby" is a major role and i am in sydney filming that. tavis: that's the is another big one. >> yes, it is. it is about the film maker, the script, the other actors, and the characters. daisy is an extraordinary character and something that i have not done and have not explored before. the scale of production is different and bigger than i have done before. we have an incredible director and an amazing cast. tavis: what did you think about
your broadway experience? >> i love it. i did a play couple of years ago and was desperate to do one again. it was in a small space, a 200- seater in east village. tavis: i read it that you are more comfortable on stage than on film. explain that to me. >> i am getting better on film. acting better, i mean. i think i'm getting more comfortable in front of the camera. it was not what i intended to do when i was a kid. i really lucky and i do enjoy it. it takes me sometime tutor -- to forget that the camera and the crew are there and feel comfortable. with stage, you have two or three hours and no one can tell you to stop. you cannot see anything because
the lights are so bright. you can fall into that world that you cannot -- in a way that you cannot when someone is yelling, "action! cut!" if you come on and you do mess up, you have two hours to redeem yourself and find your way back in. it is kind of exciting. i like that. tavis: is this for real unfolding the way you thought it would when you got in the business? with every move you do, the expectation grows and you keep doing these projects that generate oscar buzz. i am curious as -- i am curious if this is rolling out the way you thought it was? >> no. i just wanted to do plays and i wanted to -- i thought it would be amazing to be in film, but i wanted to be in theater.
just to work consistently as an actress is beyond anything i thought. to be doing it with the directors and people i am working with, i never imagined. tavis: does the pace of it ever scare you? >> it would seem silly to be concerned because it is such good fortune. if i do feel like it is getting ahead of me, i know it is just time to enjoy it. it may last for another year and it will be the case. i try to enjoy it. sometimes it is a little bit fast. but it is the best. tavis: if it were to end, i cannot imagine that and your fans pray to god that that is not the case, but what would you do with your life if you were not on the stage or on the screen? >> i do not know. it is what i wanted to do since i was 6 years old.
i never had any great plans. i would like to be in england at home, but i do not know, career wise, what i would do. i guess i would study and try to get a qualification. tavis: since you have no backup plan, this better workout. i don't think you will have a problem. how is this film different? >> is 3 d, the sets are enormous, the costumes are fantastic, and it is an amazing group of people. i love it. i have done a couple of weeks of filming. tavis: dicaprio and mulligan on the same project. that should be fun. it is my delight to have you back. up next, grammy-winning singer-
songwriter and shelby lynne. stay with us. please welcome shelby lynne back to the program. she has a personal new project called "revelation road." you can also pick up a copy of her christmas cd. great to have you back. where did you go for thanksgiving? >> i went to new york. tavis: was your first time playing the macy's thanksgiving day parade? >> yes, i enjoyed it. it is such a tradition. tavis: i was there one time for the parade. i was not performing anything, i was there for the parade. it is a little nit be out there.
what is it like performing? >> as long as it keeps your lips from bobbing together too much, you turn it into lyrics hopefully. [laughter] tavis: you survived it ok, though. as far as the "revelation road"s on its way out, i saw the title and i figured that you must be revealing something on this journey. but i did not know exactly what. the publicity did not really lay out what was coming. you have to listen to this thing to figure out what you are revealing. there is some stuff that i know about you because i am a fan. you do not really talk about this stuff publicly, but you are talking about it lyrically for the first time. why now?
tavis: i do not know why. i do not make plans when i make music. the content of the record just kind of let me know. there are some things on their where i went right back to alabama in my childhood, in the car with my mom and sister singing three-part harmony. it felt like time to let the peace inside of me write the song. i feel like i have got into a peaceful place in my heart. tavis: this is a tricky conversation to have because i know that you do not talk about what happened with your parents. he did not talk about it, but you have chosen to sing about it. i get the fact that, after all these years, you have come to some he's with this.
you do not have the kind of closure like buying a house or car, but you have come to peace with it. i get that. how is it that you choose not to talk about it but you can write and sing about it? what does that mean? >> that is the magic of music. having the luxury of making it. i can find some way to make poetry out of my life's experiences. i feel like i could talk about anything with you. my daddy had some demons and 25 years ago, it has been, since mommy and daddy left the earth in a tragic way. it is probably no secret now. daddy, how do you say it, he took a gun and ended his life and took my mama's with him.
yourself to tell an audience that even if you have got to a point where you are ok with it. i never wanted anyone to feel happy when they see me all the time. but music has a way of softening the edges of it. even if it is a story that is difficult to tell one-on-one, music kind of softens the blow. tavis: have you had the occasion yet to perform any of this live? >> yes, i love it. tavis: tell me more. i was going to ask whether it was difficult to get through the performance as opposed to being in the studio? but you survive it a few times. >> yes, i went all around the country. just me and a guitar.
the record -- i played everything on my own on the record. it is hard to say musicians hold black -- musicians hold back and do not play well. it is great. it feels like a whole different 1-on-one with a group of people who care enough to hear me play and sing my stories. tavis: you let your inner prince com eout, you decided to play all of the instruments. >> i have a spot in the desert where i like to record and do my thing. i have enough instruments and stuff i collected over the years. tavis: give me a sense of all of the things you played on this project. guitar, of course. >> guitar, bass, drums, i do not like piano, but i can play a note or two. nothing fancy.
i figured out to not heard myself and keep it simple and soulful, let the words do the work. tavis: how was the experience of playing all the instruments on one project? >> i love it, i could not fire anybody. [laughter] tavis: a lot of mirrors in the room. what is the experience like? when the audience here is using this live? how is the audience responded to this? what do that to say about it? >> they are really sweet and just listen to me tell my story. i try to tell them ahead of time. i am about to sing about sandwiches, the car, singing a three-part harmony with my mom and sister, tried to set it up softly so i can have a storyboard for them. they are so sweet to me.
tavis: what is the upside -- that is a strange way to phrase a question. i know this is not calculated to your point. what is the advantage, the value of being so open with your hard core fans? revealing so much of yourself to your fans? what is the value of that? >> i get nothing but love. you cannot get enough of that. tavis: your sister. what is or -- what is her response to the project? >> she has been on the road for so long, in europe. we have not had a chance to discuss. tavis: i would think that conversation is going to come at some point, when you put a record out that is this personal, you and your sister
will have a conversation about the project. >> we have two separate lives and a lot of love. it is hard to come together with everything. sometimes sit and write stories about my childhood and maybe, one day, when i am an old lady, put them out in a book. it is funny how, when you had a sibling who was in the exact same said -- the exact same situation and moment in time and sees it so differently. i discovered that as i get older in life, how you can have a memory and you start wondering, "is that how i really remember it?" tavis: at the moment of this tragedy, i hear your point about people being in the same moment. i wrote a book a few years ago.
a memoir about my life. my sister and i -- i have nine brothers and sisters. i let my sisters read it. and our eyes when in different directions after this incident. she saw these things one way and i see things another way. she remembers things one way and i remember things one way. i know what it is like to be in a moment. but i'm curious to ask how old you were at the time and how old your sister was? >> i was 17 and a sister -- and my sister was 13. i think personalities differ and as close as we are as siblings, we are like the sun and the moon. life does take you into other travels. you go in different circles and you go what your path is.
i have said, especially in the last year, with my soul- searching, not having any fear of talking about my life or my situations, i feel like no matter what demons and daddy had an whatever course he took, his path led me to this one. so i am grateful. tavis: have this is what makes country music so good. i do not think there is a medium that is more open, more accepting, more available to storytelling than country music. >> don't you love it? tavis: the stories are amazing and the audience revels in it. >> everyone loves a good story. i do. tavis: not all stories -- not
all music tells you a good story. >> and this is not a dance record. [laughter] tavis: this, on the other hand, is a little more jovial. i love it. i love the cover of this. that is a great cover of the cd. it is that season again and christmas music is everywhere. are you a christmas music fan? >> i love it. i put a couple of my own on here, but when i sit down and listen to my regular chesnutt's around this time of year, i like to hear the standard. tavis: it is interesting to me when he will put christmas records out. there are some standards and how you choose what to do. >> it is hard. i could have done a 20-song record. tavis: you have some good ones
on here, though. are you a fan of the christmas season? >> i am torn. do i want to put up the tree or not put up the tree? as i immediately think that i have to take it down. [laughter] tavis: i think everybody thinks that. my dilemma is, when do i put it up and when do i take it down? anyway, i am delighted to have you on the program. it is my pleasure. i know the courage that it takes, given what i know of your life story of our many conversations over the years, the courage it takes to put out a record like this. so i appreciate it. and happy holidays to you. shelby lynne has to christ out -- has two projects out, "revelation road" and "merry
christmas from shelby lynne". i will see you back here next time on pbs. until then, keep the faith. >> for more information of a bin vincent van gogh. that is next time. we will see you then. >> every community has a martin luther king boulevard. it is the cornerstone we all know. it is not just a street but a place